May 09 2011
In Mingo County, at groundbreaking of nation's first coal-to-gasoline plant, Manchin underscores need for a national energy policy that responsibly uses all of America’s vast natural resources
Gilbert, W.Va. —U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today highlighted the critical role that coal will play in our nation’s energy future at the groundbreaking of the country’s first coal-to-gasoline plant in Mingo County, which is projected to create hundreds of new jobs and provide additional domestic resources to help bring down the price of gas.
“The price of gas has skyrocketed to more than four dollars a gallon in the last year, and there’s no question that West Virginia families are hurting,” Senator Manchin said. “West Virginia is a state where people have to drive to survive, and I know these high prices are hitting families hard. This country has to get serious about making energy independence a priority, which is why we must develop a national energy policy that harnesses all of our vast domestic resources and push forward with new technology – just like coal-to-gasoline – that will help us achieve energy independence within a generation. All West Virginians can be proud that Mingo County, West Virginia is at the center of a very exciting new frontier in energy technology that will help reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil.”
This coal-to-gasoline plant – the first of its kind in the United States – is projected to convert 7,500 tons of West Virginia coal into clean gasoline each day, which can be used to run cars, trucks, tanks and jets. It is expected to produce 18,000 barrels (756,000 gallons) of Premium 92 Octane gasoline each day. When it is fully operational, this plant is expected to create 300 full-time jobs. And, over a four-year construction period, its estimated that 3,000 skilled trade workers will be employed.
Excerpts of Senator Manchin’s prepared remarks are included below:
“Today marks the culmination of three years of hard work and collaboration. A groundbreaking at a plant like this one could not come at a more poignant time. I don’t need to tell you that – you all paid the same price for gasoline that I did to drive your car here today. West Virginia is a state where people have to drive to survive, and I know these high prices are hitting families hard. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – this country has to get serious about making energy independence a national priority.”
“We have to develop a national energy policy that harnesses all of our vast domestic resources so we can be energy independent within a generation. And, most importantly, we need the federal government to get out of the way and start being a partner, not an obstacle, to important work that could help bring our gas prices down.”
“Coal is still our country’s largest domestically-produced source of energy, and it is used to generate about half of the electricity consumed in the United States. Suffice is to say that at this point in time, we simply do not have another resource that could take the place of coal in this nation’s energy portfolio. With that said—this country has to get serious about developing a national energy policy. We must stop relying on nations that want to do us harm. And what we are doing today brings us one step closer to achieving that critical goal, which will not only provide energy security for this nation, but also economic security.”
“We need to come together on a comprehensive energy plan that is environmentally responsible, but that also relies on a mix of our nation’s best resources: coal, natural gas, wind, solar power, biomass and nuclear energy. We need to continue our cutting-edge research into technology just like coal liquefaction as well as carbon capture and sequestration. We need to continue drilling domestically, increase our country’s refining capacity, and develop more alternative fuel sources that are ready to go right away – like natural gas and coal-to-liquid fuels. This type of commitment will not only move us toward energy independence, but will also create jobs, boost our economy - and help address the rising price of gas that comes from our nation's costly dependence on foreign oil. Thank you to TransGas Development Systems for your confidence in West Virginia. Thank you to Mingo County for your tremendous work to bring this investment to our state. And thank you to everyone who is here today, for your support of this critical project.”